How to Figure out Electric Bike Range
How to Figure out Electric Bike Range
Range is a significant factor for choosing an electric bike. However, the advertised ranges are often inaccurate. In fact, sometimes they are downright exaggerated. Here is a guide to help you figure out electric bike range.
What affects electric bike range?
When you buy an electric bike, you probably ask directly what its range is. But in fact it does not have a standard answer, because many factors affect the range:
1. The weight of luggage you are carrying;
2. The weight of the rider;
3. how hard you’re pedaling;
4. tire pressure (as with regular bikes, soft tires = less efficiency = less distance for power expended);
5. how many times you stop and start (hill starts in particular will drain power);
6. Your riding speed
7. The motor size of the electric bike temperature (you will get about 15% more range from a battery on a warm sunny day than they would in winter);
8. The cycling terrain (you will get less range on the mountain than you are on the city road);
9. how old your battery is
For example, If you decide to ride on pure electricity, without any pedal assistance, 50 miles range will be changed to 30 miles. On the other hand, if you engage the highest level of assistance constantly, and are in very hilly terrain, you can eat through your battery charge pretty fast. And if for example you have a lithium battery, you’re going to keep going a lot longer than if you have a nickel-cadmium battery, as lithium batteries have a higher energy density.
How to choose an electric bike with long range?
1. To be well matched for the motor power and battery capacity
For example, for the same e-bike, there are 2 options: 48V750W13AH & 60V750W13AH.
If you want more power, choose 60V750W13AH.
If you want longer range, then choose 48V750W13AH.
In general, if the wattage is the same as the battery amperage, the lower the volts, the longer the range.
2. Battery is the most importing factor for the range of electric bike
A lot of people will only consider the highest voltage on the electric bikes. But the fact is that the higher the number of volts, the more energy the battery has to consume.
Battery capacity is usually measured in Watt-hrs. Watt-hrs = amp-hrs x volts (that is, power is equivalent to how long the current will be applied to the battery’s potential, multiplied by the amount of potential power the battery has)
Watt Hrs vs. Amp Hrs
Note: when you are looking at adverts for electric bikes, you may find some where battery capacity is simply stated in amp-hrs. This is insufficient, as it does not include the voltage, so it does not reflect the true energy capacity. So if a bike is advertised with a 36 volt battery, with a capacity of 9 amp hrs, then the true capacity of the battery is 9 x 36, that is, 324 watt hrs (written as 324 Wh).
Watt hrs are important, because watt hrs determine the range of your bike, that is, how far you can go.
Bike A has a 24 Volts and 20 AH battery = 480 watt hours.
Bike B has a 48 Volts and 10 AH battery = 480 watt hours.
Bike C has a 24 Volts and 6 AH battery = 144 watt hours.
Bikes A and B have a similar amount of energy. If Bike A and Bike B have equal motors and riders, they will perform in a very similar fashion. The bike with the higher voltage battery will accelerate faster and climb better – but that will be at the expense of some of that energy. On the other hand, Bike C will not take you nearly as far.
3. Find out as much as possible
To prevent you from seeing false advertisements, what you have to do is to get the answers you want from the electric bicycle dealers as much as possible: for example, how do you calculate the mileage, and under what conditions it was calculated ( such as what level of assistance was used, and how much the rider was pedaling). You can also ask the dealer if they have tested the bike themselves and managed to achieve the advertised range. From these questions you can also judge if this is a reputable and knowledgeable e-bike dealer.
4. Ask Google about E-Bike Range
It is likely to be very helpful to spend some time Googling the bike you have in mind, and see what real world users have to say. If it is a popular bike, you may be able to find tons of information on line. There may even be a forum where you can ask other cyclists their opinion. If someone out there already owns the bike you are thinking about, they probably have a mind of useful information that they may be willing to share with you.
5. Buy from a Reputable Dealer
As with all products, the range claims are likely to be more accurate if you are buying a reputable brand from a reputable dealer. And as with all bikes, you usually get what you pay for. If the bike is very cheap, the performance and the range are extremely likely to reflect that.
6. Choose the highest capacity battery possible within your budget
Bearing in mind that battery capacity is the most important variable for range: if range is important to you, spend as much as you can to get a good quality battery with as many watt hrs as possible. Take the time to ask if there is an option to get that same bike with a higher capacity battery. It may very well be worth the extra cost (and the extra time while the dealer puts it together for you).
Although there is no standard answer for the range of the electric bike, we can still figure it out through the above factors, so as to choose the electric bike that best meets our needs.
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